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Lori Swartz

Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

Buy Contemporary Art Online Lori Swartz

Create your own fiction.  People want stories and layered meanings.  I use a visual language of form, texture, color and space to create a composition which exists independent of real world references.  The subject matter is less important than the process of painting itself. 


I paint in my home studio in Madrid, New Mexico.  I often move back and forth, working with a number of media each day.  This allows for spontaneity to be the ruling force.  Spontaneity is then coupled with craft, structure and technique, which tap into a more planned way of creating. 


I began as a metal smith in 1998.  I created large sculpture and furniture.  In 2000, I began to make jewelry.  I have been painting the whole time.  I am also a writer and a performer  of circus arts (acrobatics, trapeze, aerial fabric and aerial chain).  Working as a multi-media artist has allowed me to express myself in ways that are both private and public.  I do not have divided loyalties.  I have one loyalty (art), with multiple expressions.


I do have a sense of conscious looking.  People can look at the same objective thing and see very different subjective realities.  I want the power to stop a viewer and allow them a window into a world that is a momentary collaboration between the artist and the viewer.  I want that connection.  I want to push at the fixed boundaries of a painting by inviting the viewer to make up their own story.  I am giving a suggestion, but it is theirs to create the truth.


In my own life, I attempt to see things with a fresh eye, not to be deadened by the product, but energized by the process.  Each of my paintings involves a process of layered stories.  I paint and repaint.  I stop when I see a story that I like.


I want a painting to have more power to speak to the viewer than the viewer has the power to pass it by.  There are many things created in this world to be the fastest, cheapest, biggest.  We often forget about authenticity.  We are taught that there is value in canned, pre-packaged, foil-wrapped and zip-locked.  There are too many plastic things marketed as originals.  We all have stories to tell.  Use my paintings as a prompt for your own story.  Be present and see.  Be curious.


I am often asked about the meaning and content.  The content is the paint, the canvas, the board, the mediums.  My work is abstract.  I steer away from recognizable images.  I love lines and spaces that can be inhabited by the viewer, without telling the viewer exactly where they are.  The final product is a collaboration between the observer and the artist, a collusion that gives the observer creative freedom to manufacture their own story.


The modern abstract movement reduced the importance of the original subject matter and emphasized the creative process of painting.  In the first decade of the 20th century, painters in Europe abandoned the established Western conventions of imitating nature and storytelling and developed a new artistic form of expression.  This new artistic form created art without reference to objects.


I pay close attention to how a piece will present itself publicly.  I do not want my work to speak a private language.  I ask myself two questions.  What will the painting do when it is on a gallery's white wall?  What will it say when it is hung alone?  I want the viewer to walk the tightrope of a story with me.


My paintings titles often make reference to some accidental symbol in the work itself, but often they simply refer to how the painting makes me feel or what I was feeling when I painted it.  I want the viewer to get lost in the painting.  I want each person to create their own story.  This is a place where you get to actively participate in your own viewing.  Use your imagination.  Create a story if you want one, or just step up and look closely.  You get to create your own fiction factory.


My work can currently be seen at Hangar Gallery in Miami, Gallery Ima in Seattle, AMP Gallery in Provincetown, as well as on my website and at my home studio in Madrid, NM.


Selected Recent Exhibitions:

December 2013    Gallery Ima, Seattle, WA

August 2013        AMP Gallery, Provincetown, MA

April 2013           Hangar Gallery, Wynwood, Miami, FL

March 2013         The Fountain Art Fair, New York City, NY

February 2013     Gallery Ima, Seattle, WA

February 2013     Hangar Gallery, Miami, FL

December 2012    Gallery Ima, Seattle, WA

December 2012    Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

December 2012    Plaza Galeria Show Space, Santa Fe, NM

October 2012       Range West Studio Tour Show, NM

July 2012             Galerie Colorida, Lisbon, Portugal

April 2012            Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

April 2012            Metallo Gallery, Madrid, NM

December 2011     Norbetellen Gallery, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

June 2011             Range West Gallery, Madrid, NM

June 2011             Eggman and Wallace Art Emporium, Santa Fe, NM



Painting Residencies

February 15 – March 13, 2014  Jentel Painting Residency,   Banner, Wyoming

October 12 – November 8, 2014  Golden Foundation Painting Residency, New York



Selected Private Collections:

Santa Fe Community College                         Samuel Design Group

The Natural Animal                                       Jax Personal Training

John Connell                                                  The Lotus

Click Technologies                                         Rodeo Family Medicine

Flygirl Iron                                                    Pop Goes Art                                          

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